Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The bottomline: Peyton versus the Colts

I have mixed feelings about the Indianapolis Colts releasing Peyton Manning today. I love Peyton Manning. Even as a New Yorker, I'm not afraid to admit it. Of my three Manning jerseys, one is a Peyton Colt's jersey. He's an amazing athlete and seems like a decent guy to boot, although I have to admit it was his stint on Saturday Night Live that really sealed the deal on my Peyton crush.

I know he was very badly hurt last season, so hurt he didn't even play. And that doesn't bode well for a player. Also, it doesn't bode well for any athlete, hurt or not, once he hits the mid-30s mark in age, which Peyton has. Maybe his best years are behind him. Maybe he'll never be the same quarterback who got the Colts to two Super Bowls and won one. And that's fair for the Colts to take that into consideration. I'm all about new, young blood. Just read my posts (rants) about the New York Yankees.

But I'm also about loyalty, and just as I have a problem with players who become so full of themselves that they leave their teammates and fans without so much as a by-your-leave (I'm totally looking at you LeBron...that's right), I have a problem with teams that, because of the bottom line, won't let a lifelong player, a player who kept the team in the spotlight, finish out his career with them.

I crush hard on Joe Mauer because he's so good (well, except for last season) that he could have his choice of World Series-bound teams to play with. He's a hot commodity. But he lives and breathes Minnesota. And while the Twins have lately been a playoff team, he seems okay with the fact that they might never make it to the World Series. And then I look at Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees - he's another player who has stayed with the same team his whole career, and he's still good, but he's not the player he used to be. The Yankees could find a younger, stronger, faster shortstop to replace him, and in a year or so, they probably will, but they're willing to find Jeter another position in the field to allow him to play out his career where he started.

So I get where the Colts are coming from. For them, it's about money - it's about what they can afford and it's about what they can get for their money. That's what business is all about, and the NFL, just like any other sports league, is a business. That's the bottomline. But sometimes, you have to forget about the money and act like a human being. That's my bottomline.

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